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George Will Slams New York Times for Joe Ricketts Story

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- ABC News’ George Will slammed the New York Times on Sunday for its story this week outlining a proposed advertising campaign to link Rev. Jeremiah Wright and President Obama.

Will argued on the This Week roundtable that the story did not accurately reflect the actions of  Joe Ricketts—the founder of TD Ameritrade and the head of the super PAC that the New York Times’ article alleged was considering backing a plan to raise the ties between President Obama and his former pastor. After the story was published, Ricketts rejected the plan outright.

“Joe Ricketts didn’t end up repudiating it (the plan). He repudiated it the instant he saw it,” Will said. “He asked through some of his people for someone to produce a plan, but what they got was a plan that ignored what he’s interested in and went after Reverend Wright and all this other stuff. Ricketts took one look at it and said ‘no.’”

“Now, the New York Times—that didn’t fit their narrative, ‘billionaire behaving responsibly,’” Will added. ”So they said ‘he’s studying it, they have commissioned this.’  They’ve neglected the whole fact which was that this is a small story with a nice ending, which is a responsible affluent man said no.”

Radio host Laura Ingraham agreed, and offered that this controversy may hint at things to come this election year.

“This to me was a shot across the bow that if you are a wealthy … If you are a wealthy, wealthy person in the United States, you happen to be conservative, you’re going to get involved in this election, then we are going to watch everything that you do, and you sort of step over the line, you talk about past associations with President Obama, anything like that, we will try to destroy you,” Ingraham said. “The idea that he (Ricketts) was considering it was a total false narrative put forward by the New York Times to send a message to other people, don’t you dare get involved in this election, in any type of, quote, ‘controversial’ way.”

For his part, California Lieutenant Governor and Current TV host Gavin Newsom defended the New York Times, suggesting that there may be “gray area” between what the New York Times reported and Will’s version of events.

“I’m not convinced that this wasn’t further along,” he said.

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